Moab (Moabites)
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Moab (Moabites)
Bible Meaning: Of his father
Strong's Concordance #H4124

Moab was born out of a brief incestuous encounter Lot had with his two daughters. The events took place shortly after he and his daughters fled the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19).

Map showing Moabite (Moab) Kingdom near Ancient Israel Map

Lot's eldest daughter had a child through him named Moab who was the founder of the Moabites. The younger daughter produces a son named Benammi who became the founder of the Ammonites (Genesis 19:31 - 38).


Where did they live?

Initially, the land of Moab entailed territory, east of the Jordan River, which was both north and south of the Arnon River. The Amorites, however, before they fought the Israelites under Moses, had taken Moabite land north of the Arnon River (Numbers 21:25 - 26). Moab's kingdom was reduced to territory south of the Arnon to the Zered River.

God expressed forbid the Israelites from taking any Moabite land, as well as that which Edom and Ammon inhabited, as they sought to claim their inheritance in Canaan (Deuteronomy 2:4 - 5, 9, 19)

Interactions with Israel

Moab, with the help of Ammon and Amalek, defeated Israel in battle and dominated them for eighteen years. It took Ehud, who later became a Judge, to free them from Moabite domination (Judges 3:21 - 30).

Moab fought Israel during Saul's reign (1Samuel 14:47) and was later conquered by King David. Moabite gifts to Israel, likely in the form of yearly tribute money, were one of the ways David grew rich (2Samuel 8:2).

The Moabite's chief god, named Chemosh, was one of the many false deities King Solomon indulged himself and his wives in worshipping. Such worship was part of the reason why Israel was split into two separate nations after Solomon's death (1Kings 11:11, 29 - 32)!


Destruction

Moab's vanity, as well as its treatment of Israel, brought declarations of judgment and destruction from prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Zephaniah (Isaiah 16, Jeremiah 48, Ezekiel 25, Zephaniah 2). This destruction took place when Babylon, and later the Persians, came in and conquered their land.

Most famous

The most famous Moabite is Ruth (Ruth 1:4, 22). She married an Israelite named Boaz and become the great-grandmother of King David! Ruth is also the only one of two women, the other being Esther, that has a Biblical book named after her.

Important verses

Person

Genesis 19:36 - 37
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.

Group

Numbers 22:1, 4
And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho . . .

And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.

Deuteronomy 2:9
And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.

1Kings 11:1, 30 - 31, 33
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites . . .

And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee . . .

Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites . . .

2Kings 3:4 - 5
And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool. But it came to pass, when (King) Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.

Judges 3:12, 14
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.

So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

1Chronicles 18:2
And he (King David) smote Moab; and the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

2Kings 23:13
And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites . . .

Zephaniah 2:9
Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them . . .

Further Bible study:


Meaning of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
Scripture quotes are taken from
the King James translation.
The meaning and definition of each listing
is derived from a variety of sources.


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